The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Drunk in Acting Class

I happen to have a very low tolerance for alcohol, which has gotten me into trouble a few times. When I was in college I had a small fridge in my dorm and usually kept this stocked with a bottle of hard liquor, like vodka, rum or gin. The reason I had hard liquor was because I could get many more drinks out of it. I was under 21 at the time and though getting alcohol is hardly a difficult thing on a college campus, there wasn't always someone available or someone willing at a time when you wanted it, so it was a good idea to get a good sized bottle of liquor and just have that always around.

I didn't drink much, so the bottle would last me many weeks, but I did start the habit of drinking regularly, usually just a small shot after dinner. This was so little that it had no noticeable effect on me, but it didn't take too much of an increase of the amount I drank to start making me a little tipsy. Such happened one day when I took a couple of drinks before dinner, without really paying attention, and then one after dinner, forgetting that I'd already taken a few. Very quickly, due to my low tolerance, I was significantly tipsy. But I had a class to go to. At that time I had my acting class in the evenings twice a week just after dinner. I had grabbed my drink just before departing to acting class.

On that day we were doing these "open scenes" or "contentless scenes." These are short dialogues without any context or meaning. In this scene basically the exchange has the persons sharing hellos, then the one asking if the other knows what time it is and the other saying they don't know, then the one asking what the other did last night and the other answering nothing and the first one insisting, and the other still saying nothing and the first one apologizing. It's an exercise for acting. What the actors try to do is establish the context of the scene and give the scene meaning by performing these lines in a specific way. The class was divided up into pairs, and each pair had decided to act out these lines in a different way with a different context in mind. My partner and I had decided to do it that she was a worried mother who'd been waiting up for me, and I was the improvident son arriving home late.

Due to my bladder being full, I quickly stepped out of the room to relieve myself just as we were called up. When I stepped back into the room, everyone was waiting and the scene immediately began. This was our second time doing the scene in front of the class, and we did it as before, but our professor thought we'd done something different. The professor said, "I liked this performance better. It seemed like you were acting like you were a little drunk in that scene. That's good. It gives an explanation for why you're arriving home late." One of the kids in the class chimed in and said, "Maybe that's because he is drunk," and everyone laughed. And I just had to say, "Yes I was trying to do that."

We had to perform the scene two or three more times over the next couple classes, and from then on I tried to act like I was drunk and a little bit unsteady on my feet when I was doing the scene, but I wasn't really that good of an actor and just couldn't do it that convincingly. My drunk performance turned out to be the high water mark of our performance of that scene.

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